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March 4, 2013

Gov's push for tax plan gets muted response

(Continued)

“Most of our infrastructure has been done. We are very fortunate,” he said.

State Sen. Kathleen O’Connor Ives, D-Newburyport, said she favors a drop in the sales tax, but other aspects of the plan aren’t palatable — for instance, eliminating a capital gains tax deduction on home sales that many senior citizens count on. When seniors decide to downsize, that tax deduction is crucial, she said.

“It’s too hurtful to seniors,” she said.

O’Connor Ives said while there is general agreement on the need for more spending on education and transportation infrastructure, she wants to see more specifics on how funding those expenses will impact people.

“I want to make sure that whatever revenue stream is decided on, that it doesn’t hurt working people,” she said.

Both Costello and O’Connor Ives were intrigued by a plan that would create express lanes on major highways. Motorists would pay a fee, collected electronically as they pass by high-speed electronic tolls, to have the privilege of using these high-speed lanes. Money raised from the tolls would be used to pay for highway improvements.

“I would prefer to see transportation revenue raised through transportation uses,” O’Connor Ives said.

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